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Important Question About Chess Improvement

https://chessmood.com/blog/the-game-changer-question-in-chess

in this article, GM Avetik really drives home the point that if you wish to improve quickly in chess, you must do what is MOST EFFECTIVE and doing things that are USEFUL IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Of course, this idea is rather logical and not really shocking but this leaves me with big questions:


How do I know what is most effective?  Is this a one-size-fits-all deal or is it individual?  Do you have                                                                             any reccomendations?


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Your rating is not your strength

Have you ever heard someone say, "I know I am rated (insert rating here), but I clearly play much better. I am way underrated."

I have heard this, or variations of this, more times then I can count. I must admit, I have said it myself more times then I can count as well. I would be willing to wager it is near the top of all phrases uttered by chess players to other chess players, at almost every level.

I am sure many of you have had similar experiences. This conundrum has vexed me for a long time, and as I continue to grow in my knowledge from ChessMood, it has been a question I asked myself more and more, because my rating (I am speaking OTB rating) hasnt grown as much as I feel it should have. (I confess my online rating has jumped higher then ever, but that story will be saved for another time)

When I started ChessMood, my OTB Rating was 1750ish USCF with a peak of 1816. Since I hadnt played OTB for almost 2 years before ChessMood, my rating dropped at first to 1675ish (this is most likely also attributed to the fact you usually go backwards before going forwards when learning something new.). After that initial drop I quickly raised my rating back to my peak of 1816, a gain of 140 points! But then I stayed there until COVID hit and OTB tournaments halted.

Since games started back up a couple months ago, I have played in 5 tournaments, and have promptly fallen back to 1750. Part of this can be attributed to lack of playing OTB, but my opponents had the same break from playing, so I know I cannot use this as an excuse. I know my knowledge has increased in an uncalculatable amount since joining ChessMood, yet I am not gaining in rating like I would think I should. So this has got me thinking about what rating really is.

It was then, as I was thinking more and more about this, that I realized, RATING IS NOT YOUR STREGTH AT CHESS! Your rating is your performance from playing! 

I have  experienced many times while analyzing with an opponent after a game and thinking to myself, "How is this guy rated 200 points higher then me? I know as much as he does!" I have also had times where the opposite is true, and I think to myself while looking at a game with a lower rated opponent, "There is no way this guy should be lower rated then me!"

I have realized as I have reflected on this that it doesnt matter how much more I know then my opponent knows,  if I dont apply it, my rating isnt going to go up! At the end of the game, the player who wins gets the rating points, not the guy who studied the most.

So, what can we do to address this issue?

I started by looking back at my history, and looked for patterns in the times I gained the most rating points. The biggest thing I noticed, is I gained the most when I played the most. 

I gained 220 rating points in 5 months about 20 years ago. I played almost every weekend for that 5 months. Coincidence? Maybe. But I also ganed 140 rating points in 10 weeks about a year and a half ago. Want to guess what I did for those 10 weeeks? You are right! I played almost every weekend! Still a coincidence? Unlikely.

Knowledge is very important, and I am glad I found ChessMood to help me gain that knowledge (I am sure many of you are as well!) but all the knowledge in the world doesnt help if we dont put it into practice. More accurately, continuous practice. 

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this, including our illustrious GMs who teach us, and see what other things we can learn! I am also going to put this to the test. I am going to play 5 tournaments over the next 6 weeks ( I would play the 6th but I am moving to a new house that weekend, and cant be in 2 places at once!) and will report back the results. I am currently rated 1764 USCF. Any one want to guess what I will be rated at the end of the National Open in June? (Full disclosure, I am playing the open section in every tournament I am playing in, and will be close to the lowest rated in the section every time.) My wager is on my rating will be rising past my current peak. 

Only time will tell!

GM Jay

 


Request for a "Watched Video" function

Hello ChessMood team, 

What a great product, I am here every day learning and improving.

I have a request please, when a video is watched can you make it possible to show the video as already having been learned? I would like to be able to see what new or what updated videos have been added to a section or be able to clearly track what training I have left.

For example, today I received an email with this message, "We've uploaded one more section in the course "Happy Pieces"." How can users distinguish which is the new video from the list? Ideally there would be a function where a watch video automatically changes its status or we can manually change the status to show that it has been watched/learned. Additionally perhaps new videos can have a time/date stamp on them showing when they were posted.

Thank you very much for an outstanding product, you guys are great!

Leslie Smith 

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